Out Of Bounds

Out Of Bounds.

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Out Of Bounds

Let me start with a disclaimer.  This post is NOT a justification or defense of Donald Sterling.   I think Donald Sterling is a cheating, bigoted idiot.

That being said there are a couple of things that bother me about what has happened. First, a private conversation was recorded and released without his permission or knowledge.  It is becoming more common these days that people are recording everything that is said and done without the knowledge or permission of the other person. Should we now assume that we can no longer express our thoughts out loud even within the privacy of our own four walls?  Everyone we talk to these days has their phones out during conversations.  Are they recording what you are saying?  Think about your interactions this week.  Did you whisper to a co-worker or a friend or a relative something critical of another person or make a joke at someone else’s expense?  Are you sure you weren’t being recorded? If you are not sure, it could come back to haunt you. In this 1984 Big Brother society, everything is up for public fodder.

Sterling has had a reputation for decades for making inappropriate comments and remarks concerning race.  The woman involved in this knew how he felt about the subject of race and yet she freely accepted the Rolls Royce, 2 Bentley s, money, jewelry, tickets, court side seats, etc. from him.  She also knew he was married.  His thoughts and opinions were all OK and acceptable until the relationship went south. She doesn’t seem to feel any remorse for what she did. I guess she is determined to get money one way or another. Regardless of his views and opinions, he is still entitled to have some amount of privacy.

The second issue is with the players. Sterling has been sued several times for discrimination including suits from a couple of players.  These are public court cases because Sterling doesn’t do battle under the radar.  After all of that, there were no players refusing to sign and play for the Clipper organization. The players came to play, took Sterling’s money and have/are living pretty fat and happy. Sterling made his money on the backs of black players.  The players happily cashed the checks even though they knew his reputation.  Where were the protests before the tape? Why weren’t they calling the media and complaining about Donald Sterling long before this tape was released? Suddenly now everyone wants to protest.  Seems they are trying to catch a wagon that has already gone.

Social media has made us a society without boundaries.  There is no more privacy. We have given up freedom of speech for the endless 15 minutes of fame.  We can’t have an opinion that differs from the majority lest we be cast out into the light.  We discourage people from being leaders or standing for what they truly believe.  We live under the radar until what’s done in the dark comes to light.  People who stood by and silently perpetuated the wrongs are now standing up because  no one wanted to be caught on TV or in the paper not being part of the reaction.

If Sterling is right, I’m sure we will find many more have ugly skeletons that will fall out of closets.

So the next time you go to throw a stone, remember your unwanted 15 minutes of fame could be one recording away..

 

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Where is MH370?

Where is MH370?.

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Where is MH370?

Airplanes do no simply disappear. They take off from point A and end at point B. Whether point B is the intended destination or not is a different issue but all aircraft end somewhere.

The Boeing 777, aka the triple 7, is one of the safest airplanes in operation. It is a plane intended to be flown by 2 pilots and has what is known as a glass cockpit. Gone are the knobs, toggles and switches. They are replaced by touch screens much like your iPad or smartphone. These planes require little interaction other than punching in the coordinates and checking back up systems. The plane is designed to practically fly itself.

The disappearance of MH370 is certainly a mystery.  A large aircraft  in a busy air traffic control corridor along a busy shipping channel and no one reported anything odd with an airplane in the area.  What could have happened?  Why did the plane stop responding? The theories are many.

There was no alien space ship that sucked up the plane.  There was no black hole or time space continuum (a la Stephen King’s The Langoliers).  These things we know for sure. What that leaves is talk of terrorism, pilot error, system failures and Hijacking.

Whatever is found and whatever the cause is determined to be, the families of those aboard need closure.  Right now, they don’t know if the plane crashed or is on the ground  at some jungle airport.  The not knowing  must be an unspeakable pain. We can only hope that all the governments can come together and work toward giving the families relief very soon .

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What Would You Do??

In the middle of the night a large apartment building caught fire.  The fire was intense and fast moving and caused people to jump out of windows to find safety.  They escaped their homes without clothes, shoes, keys or identification.  A few weeks ago  we watched as Atlanta Georgia and North Carolina came to a standstill with people trapped in their cars for hours after a rare ice and snow storm.  In all of these cases no one had a plan.  

So what would you do if there was a fire in your home in the middle of the night?  What would you do if a tornado or earthquake or blackout hit in the middle of the day?  How would you escape? Where would you go?  How would you find your family members? What would your kids do? Where would they go?  What would you do for money, clothing and identification? What would you do if there was a need for medical equipment or specialized medications?

The time for a plan is not in the middle of a disaster.  The time for the plan is now when nothing is going on,  Make a plan for  how to get out of your house or where to go in the house if you must shelter in place.  Figure out who will pick up your kids and where they will take them if you can’t get there. Let them know your plan.  If you need to escape a fire in your home, pick a meeting spot and make sure everyone can get there day or night.  Have regular disaster drills.  Test your family members on the plan. Gather a “GO” bag with extra medications, clothing, shoes, cash, copies of you drivers license and passport, extra cell phone and charger, phone numbers of family, friends and doctors, eyeglasses, first aid, water and food items. Keep the “GO” bag somewhere you can get to it in a hurry.  Think about and plan for any special needs you or a family member my have.  Make a plan if you are stuck in your car on the road. What about your four legged family members?  They need food and water if you take them with you. What will happen to them if you can’t take them with you? 

Not sure how to make a plan, go to http://www.ready.gov for ideas or help.  Don’t wait until it’s too late.  Be safe but most of all be prepared.

 

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The End of the Innocence

The End of the Innocence.

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The End of the Innocence

I am too young to remember the assassination of John F Kennedy but I have relived the moment every year since it happened through television, magazines, books and stories from my mother.  50 years seems like yesterday. It is a “where were you when…” moment in our country and our history.  We have had Presidential assassinations before- Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley- but none were in the camera eye brought to our living rooms in color. From the heartbreaking announcement of anchor Walter Cronkite to the Zapruder film, every horrible moment of that day has played over and over again for 50 years.  

We were a country in transition in the 1960’s.  We were exploring space.  We were fighting the evils of segregation and the threat of Cuba.  We were keeping our watchful eye on the Russians.  We were exploring the medium called television.  We believed our enemies lived across oceans and spoke foreign languages.  If you told us that an American would kill our beloved President, we would have never believed it. That all changed on November 22, 1963.

From the moment the shots rang out on that fateful day, our innocence died. The world watched 2 days later as Jack Ruby took the life of Lee Harvey Oswald  on live television as the accused assassin was being taken to jail. There was no hiding or make believe and our sense of safety and security was shattered.  We became weary of our neighbors and even more weary of people we didn’t know.  The world would never be the same.  Killing leaders was no longer something that happened somewhere else. It happened here on our soil too. All our hopes were shattered. The sadness of business left unfinished was felt by every American.

In the years since the assassination, we often ask ourselves what if Kennedy had made a different choice that day and skipped Dallas?  Would we be different? What would our country look like today?  What frontiers would we have opened? What would have happened if we has the chance to ask what we could do for our country? How would our subsequent leaders make decisions if they had the counsel of John Kennedy.  Sadly, we will never know.

They were Camelot and like King Arthur, JFK fell. Jacqueline Kennedy was quoted as saying “There’ll be great Presidents again but there’ll never be another Camelot again … it will never be that way again.”

As we remember this dark day in our history, I wish that you continue to Rest in Peace Mr. President… You are left us too soon..

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